06/17/11 • DUTCH BABY PANCAKE
From the Dec., 2010 GQ
Here’s something I’ve noticed about recipes in men’s magazines: they’re generally easy to prepare while offering a big payoff in the flavor department. I guess it’s not that surprising given their audience—If you want to interest most guys in cooking, there better be minimal effort with maximum reward. While I don’t necessarily fall within that category, I appreciate a simple, fuss-free recipe as much as the next guy, and “the big pancake” featured in the Dec., 2010 issue of GQ is a perfect example of why.
For starters there are only four ingredients involved: butter, flour, eggs, and milk (plus a little nutmeg if you feel like getting ambitious). For another, it bakes for just 20 minutes—all the time required for these most basic of ingredients to puff up into something really spectacular. Almost as soon as it hits the oven the batter begins to take on a beautiful golden color and to rise towards the top of the pan, and by the time it’s done it looks like a cross between a soufflé, a Yorkshire pudding, and a very large, puffy omelet. In other words, this pancake is the exact opposite of the ones you’ve been eating all those years—the kind you crave from time-to-time because they remind you of childhood, but that sit in your stomach like a lead balloon. What’s more, it’s guaranteed to fill your kitchen with the kind of aroma that will make you think you grandmother has stopped by for a visit. And best of all, it tastes amazing—just the right amount of doughy to crispy (like a really great crêpe), and rich with the winning combo of eggs, flour, and sugar.
Unlike with a traditional pancake, the recipe for this one suggests topping things off with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and the juice of a whole lemon. I resisted this idea at first and began reaching for the syrup but wisely resisted. The zing of the lemon juice proved the perfect foil for the buttery, eggyness of the pancake, and the powdered sugar offered just the right hit of sweet. And though the recipe claims the pancake is big enough for two, it will come as no surprise to hear that I polished this one off all alone—and in seconds.
—3 tbs butter
—2 eggs, beaten
—½ cup flour
—½ cup milk
—1 tsp sugar
—¼ tsp salt
—Pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
—Juice of 1 lemon
—Powdered sugar to taste
—Preheat oven to 425˚. Put butter in a 9- or 10-inch pie plate or ovenproof skillet. Place in oven then remove once butter is melted.
—While butter is melting mix the remaining ingredients with a whisk, then pour into the hot skillet. Immediately return skillet to oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until puffy and evenly browned on the outside. Remove from oven.
—Sprinkle with lemon juice and powdered sugar. Slice and eat immediately.